The Drottningholm Palace (Swedish: Drottningholms slott) is the private residence of the Swedish royal family. It is located in Drottningholm. Built on the island Lovön (in Ekerö Municipality of Stockholm County), it is one of Sweden’s Royal Palaces. It was originally built in the late 16th century. It served as a residence of the Swedish royal court for most of the 18th century. Apart from being the private residence of the Swedish royal family, the palace is a popular tourist attraction.
The name Drottningholm (literally meaning „Queen’s islet“) came from the original renaissance building designed by Willem Boy, a stone palace built by John III of Sweden in 1580 for his queen, Catherine Jagellon. This palace was preceded by a royal mansion called Torvesund.
The Queen Dowager Regent Hedwig Eleonora bought the castle in 1661, a year after her role as Queen of Sweden ended, but it burnt to the ground on 30 December that same year. Hedwig hired the famous Swedish architect Nicodemus Tessin the Elder to design and rebuild the castle. In 1662, work began on the reconstruction of the building. With the castle almost complete, Nicodemus died in 1681. His son Nicodemus Tessin the Younger continued his work and completed the elaborate interior designs.
During the period of the reconstruction, Hedwig was head of the protectorate for the still-underage King, Charles XI of Sweden, from 1660 to 1672. Sweden had grown to be a powerful country after the Peace of Westphalia. The position of the queen, essentially the ruler of Sweden, demanded an impressive residence located conveniently close to Stockholm.
During the reign of the kings Charles XI of Sweden and Charles XII of Sweden, the royal court was often present at the palace; Charles XI of Sweden went there to hunt, and after 1700, Hedwig Eleonora again hosted the royal court during the absence of Charles XII of Sweden under the Great Northern War (1700–1721).